Patch of varnish rubbed away from pine table top

27 Aug 2012
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United Kingdom
We have a varnished pine kitchen table, and it got stained by a rotten potato that leaked from the bottom of a bag. Someone (naming no names...) then decided to scrub the stain away with a kitchen cloth. It's gone, but so is a patch of varnish about the size of my hand.

The wood underneath is slightly roughened, but I should be able to smooth it out with fine sandpaper and not leave any obvious holes or scratches. What I don't know of is a way to match the colour of the existing varnish. Do I have to plan for sanding down the whole tabletop and re-varnishing from scratch, and if so how many coats would it need?

This is in a rented house, the table belongs to the landlord, and we're moving out in two weeks. Just for added fun...
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Probably a water soluble varnish as it came off so easy, try light sanding and re-varnish of affected area, nothing to loose.
Matching may be difficult, you could always leave the landlord a carefully placed plant. :(
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I think he'd spot that one :(

If I try patching the varnish first, but it doesn't work and I have to sand down and redo the whole thing, how long a job is that? I know it takes a couple of coats and they need time to dry.

Matching may be difficult, you could always leave the landlord a carefully placed plant. :(
you wont make an invisible repair even a pro wont with this sort of damage. If I were in your shoes. I'd just leave it, at least (long shot) you can say its nothing to do with you. Whereas if you fiddle with it, thats the admission that you've done it. Worst scenario, the top needs refinishing - cost depends on type of table etc but budget £150 to £200 for a paid for job.

Main point of this post is you wont be able to fix this to make it look like it hasnt happened

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